- Hotstar’s ambitious foray into content for a billion screens – announces Hotstar Specials, featuring a spectacular line up of storytellers
Set to launch shows from the best storytellers of the country, including Shekar Kapur, Neeraj Pandey, Kabir Khan, Nikhil Advani, Ram Madhvani, Venkat Prabhu and Salman Khan!
Mumbai, 14 January 2018: Star India, the nation’s storyteller and its most innovative content company across TV, Films & Sports, is ready with its next big leap in content on the back of its OTT, Hotstar. The company today announced the launch of Hotstar Specials, a bold and ambitious content foray featuring shows from India’s most acclaimed storytellers.
“Star has always challenged conventions and been at the forefront of content reinvention in India” said Sanjay Gupta, MD, Star India. “With the mobile phone leading an explosion in the number of screens in the country, we feel that our content also needs to reinvent and boldly move forward. With Hotstar Specials we hope to create the biggest Indian stories delivered to a billion screens. To bring this vision alive, we are proud to partner with a stellar line up of talent who are headlining our first set of Hotstar Specials”
For its first set of Hotstar Specials, Star India has partnered with the best storytellers of India including Shekhar Kapur, Neeraj Pandey, Kabir Khan, Nikkhil Advani, Ram Madhvani, Venkat Prabhu, Sudhir Mishra, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Nagesh Kukunoor, Mahesh Manjrekar, Vishal Furia, Rohan Sippy, Debbie Rao, Sharad Devarajan and Salman Khan!
Hotstar Specials will feature an extensive variety of Indian stories, mounted on a big scale, unconstrained by format. The company’s ambition is not to make this a narrow or niche play but to explode into the consciousness of the country in an unprecedented way.
Hotstar Specials will enable makers to tell their most passionate stories and provide them unmatched reach. The stories will provide a burst of variety across genres and formats and will be available in seven languages for viewers to consume them in a language of their choice. They will leverage the unprecedented reach of Hotstar to reach the length and breadth of the country and also reach global audiences. With 350 million downloads and over 150mn monthly active users, Hotstar is the country’s biggest OTT, significantly bigger than its closest competitors. The launch of Hotstar Specials is yet another moment of disruption for Hotstar, which has been at the forefront of change in the space of digital content in India.
- Hotstar appoints Sameer Kapoor as Vice President – Agency Ad Sales
Hotstar, India’s leading premium streaming platform, announced the appointment of Sameer Kapoor as Vice President – Agency Ad Sales. In his new role, Sameer will be responsible for driving the relationship with media agencies to deliver measurable and impactful media strategy for clients through Hotstar.
Sameer brings over 17 years of media and marketing experience to the table, having managed offline and online platforms in leadership roles across diverse industries and geographies. Sameer joins Hotstar from Google, where he was Head of Brand Measurement for the India & Southeast Asia markets. Prior to that, he sharpened his media management experience with Starcom as Vice President, overseeing the Samsung account, and Madison World as General Manager, handling Bharti Airtel.
Commenting on his appointment, Sameer Kapoor said, “I’m thrilled to have joined the incredible team at Hotstar. As India’s leading OTT platform, Hotstar offers tremendous value to users and marketers alike. In my role, I look forward to building stronger partnerships with agencies, enabling them to offer the most effective media solutions for modern multiscreen consumers.”
Gulshan Verma, SVP and Head – Client & Agency, Hotstar added, ‘Sameer is joining us at a time when Hotstar has firmly established its might in digital video, through its massive content catalog and extensive set of advertiser tools to deliver highly targeted solutions for clients. It’s an exciting part of our journey and we’re excited to have Sameer drive the agency agenda for Hotstar.’
Sameer will be operating from Mumbai for his role at Hotstar.
Hotstar is India’s largest premium streaming platform with more than 100,000 hours of drama and movies in 18 languages, and coverage of every major global sporting event. Launched in early 2015, it is one of India’s most downloaded apps and has attracted more than 350 million followers on the back of a highly evolved video streaming technology and high attention to the quality of experience across devices and platforms. Hotstar has appropriated top spots on the Google Play Store as well as the Apple App Store, consistently named among the most popular apps on both platforms since its launch.
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- Hotstar and HOOQ enter first-of-its-kind partnership to drive growth in India
The partnership provides Hotstar Premium users access to additional 6,000 hours of Hollywood TV shows, movies, and original content
Hotstar, India’s leading premium streaming platform and HOOQ, Southeast Asia’s largest Video-on-Demand (VOD) service have forged a first-of-its-kind partnership, with HOOQ’s 6,000 hour catalogue of Hollywood TV shows and movies made available to Hotstar Premium users, and in turn, enables HOOQ to leverage Hotstar’s massive scale of over 150 million monthly active users.
As a result of this partnership, the catalogue for Hotstar Premium subscribers, already featuring the most acclaimed and award-winning content from studios like HBO, Showtime, Fox and Disney, will further expand to include thousands of Hollywood titles and same-day telecasts of the latest seasons of top-rated Hollywood TV series including award-winning titles such as The Big Bang Theory, Arrow, The Flash, S.W.A.T., The Goldbergs and HOOQ Originals like The Oath. They will also be able to choose from a wealth of Hollywood blockbusters and classics including Wonder Woman, Harry Potter, Spider-Man and Pulp Fiction and enjoy their viewing experience on any device, at any time.
According to FICCI-EY’s research on India’s entertainment industry, box office collections from Hollywood films, inclusive of all regional language dubbed versions, totaling Rs. 8.01 billion in 2017, making up 13% of the overall movie box office in the country. This year alone, the Hollywood juggernaut Avengers: Infinity Wars smashed India box office records by raking in US$43.6M despite only showing in 2,000 cinemas locally, making it the biggest Hollywood film of all time in India. The growing interest of Indian viewers towards Hollywood content marks an opportune moment for HOOQ to expand its content distribution channel and partnering with Hotstar provides it the most compelling platform to create impact in the Indian market.
Ajit Mohan, CEO, Hotstar commented, “Hotstar Premium’s English catalogue is unlike anything you’ll find on any other platform in the world – an aggregation of content from across studios and content producers, at a single destination. This partnership with HOOQ, with its portfolio of curated blockbuster Hollywood content, seals the argument – for an English content fan, there is nowhere else to go.”
Commenting on the partnership, Peter Bithos, CEO, HOOQ said, “We are so pleased to announce this collaboration with Hotstar that combines their reach with our offering as the ‘Home for Hollywood’ in India. With the appetite for Hollywood content in India growing at a furious pace, we are poised to offer the Indian customer easily accessible and a very affordable way to watch the best of Hollywood. This partnership with Hotstar underscores our commitment to satisfying the Indian market’s appetite for on-demand content.”
Prabh Singh, Business Head – Hotstar Premium added, “When it comes to English content, Hotstar Premium is uniquely placed in that it boasts titles from global studios like HBO, Disney, Showtime and Fox and now with HOOQ, iconic shows like The Big Bang Theory, The Flash, S.W.A.T and even cult classics like Friends in the fold. Regardless of mood, genre preference or which side of the superhero debate you sit on, Hotstar Premium is the single destination where English content consumers find everything. The partnership with HOOQ firmly strengthens that position.”
Zulfiqar Khan, Managing Director of India for HOOQ, commented, “This is the start of a great relationship between HOOQ and Hotstar in India, we are excited to bring to life a wealth of content for a new audience. The OTT market is an exciting space and our belief is that it is imperative for consumers to have easy access to content. With this Hotstar partnership, HOOQ takes another step forward in becoming the service known as the “Home of Hollywood” on major platforms”.
English titles have witnessed robust growth over the last couple of years. In 2016, gross box office collection of English films in India grew by 10% compared to 2015, as per the FICCI-KPMG Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2017.
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Built in Asia for Asia, HOOQ is one of Asia’s first premium video-on-demand service to launch across the region. HOOQ is a start-up joint venture established in January 2015 by Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros. HOOQ delivers thousands of hours of entertainment to customers anytime, anywhere by enabling them to stream and download on their Internet device or platform of choice. HOOQ was also named Best Mobile App in the Media, Film, TV or Video category at the GSMA’s Global Mobile (GLOMO) Awards 2016 in Barcelona. HOOQ currently operates in the Philippines, Thailand, India, Indonesia and Singapore with a population footprint of over 1.7 billion people. For more information, visit www.hooq.tv.
Hotstar is India’s largest premium streaming platform with more than 100,000 hours of drama and movies in 18 languages, and coverage of every major global sporting event. Launched in early 2015, it is one of India’s most downloaded apps and has attracted more than 350 million followers on the back of a highly evolved video streaming technology and high attention to quality of experience across devices and platforms. Hotstar has appropriated top spots on the Google Play Store as well as the Apple App Store, consistently named among the most popular apps on both platforms since its launch.
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